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Africans tour Philadelphia Port as new season fruit arrives

Holt and African Delegation - Edited

On the eve of the start of the African fruit season, in which perishable summer commodities originated on the continent begin to arrive on shores in the US, a delegation from several African nations has visited the Port of Philadelphia.

Holt Logistics Corp said that as part of their historic visit and participation in the African Business Roundtable at the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, dignitaries from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, South Africa, Togo, and Tanzania toured facilities at Gloucester Marine Terminal to learn about the numerous quality initiatives and processes utilised by the company. 

Additionally, the delegation discussed potential expansion of trade partnerships that will come as a result of the proposed African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) currently before the US congress, Holt said in a press release dated June 15.

The first vessel of the 2015 South Africa fruit season arrived this morning at the Gloucester Marine Terminal. The Lapponian Reefer, a specialised refrigerated cargo ship discharged approximately 3,600 pallets of fresh oranges from the Western Cape of South Africa. The cargo arrived under the strict guidance of 360 Quality, an international shipping association dedicated to ensuring quality and safety in supply chain management for perishable fruits and vegetables, it also said.

“This visit of the delegation of West African leaders is timely in many ways,” said Peter Inskeep, general manager of the Gloucester Marine Terminal. “The beginning of the Summer Citrus season has created a heightened interest and awareness in developing nations of the value of fast, dedicated and direct transport of food products. We are also eager to share best practices in food handling and production with these potentially very important trade partners in support of AGOA, which will greatly increase commodities traffic between our two continents. Holt Logistics Corp is foundational terminal operator member of the 360 Quality Initiative, and we look forward to sharing a framework that can be transposed onto the many high quality food products that reach the North American Market through the Delaware River Ports.”

Holt and African Delegation - Edited (1).jpg

In the photo: (left to right): Sander Daniel, Global Marketing, Holt Logistics Corp; The Honorable Thulisile Mathula Nkosi, Consul General, Republic of South Africa; Florizelle B. Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa; His Excellency Joseph Henry Smith, Ambassador, The Republic of Ghana; Leo A. Holt, president, Holt Logistics Corp; His Excellency Daouda Diabate, Ambassador, The Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; His Excellency Limbiye E. Kadangha Bariki, Ambassador, The Republic of Togo; Her Excellency Lily Munanka, Ambassador, Republic of Tanzania; and His Excellency Api Assoumatine, Togolese Ambassador to Ghana.

source: Holt Logistics Corp

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Southern Africa’s citrus growers urged to stay cool in tricky market


Southern Africa’s citrus growers are entering a season that has “difficult” written all over it, according to Justin Chadwick, CEO of the Citrus Growers Association of Southern Africa,

in his newsletter for this week, he said Southern Africa’s volumes available for export continue to grow but amid a context of markets still under recessionary pressure, geopolitical decisions leading to uncertain market conditions, and protection of domestic producers becoming a priority.

“Responsible decision making will mean keeping unwanted or oversupplied fruit out of the market (sell domestically or processed),” Chadwick said.

In one of his newsletters last month, he had explained why the Southern African citrus industry had asked officials to suspend the issue of phytosanitary certificates for fruit to be exported to Spain, amid concerns over how tests for citrus black spot (CBS) are carried out there.

Russian importers looking to secure fruit at lower prices

In his latest newsletter, Chadwick said there had been reports from Russia of “a lot of Egyptian oranges of substandard quality available, selling at very low prices”, a situation that would continue to the end of May. With the weak ruble resulting in food inflation of 16-17%, buyers are seeking to source fruit at lower prices and growers need to be careful, he said.

The Middle East: seller beware

Chadwick said care is also needed in the Middle East. Strict payment conditions should be imposed and growers need to ensure they fully understand the terms and conditions their export agents are negotiating as “at the end of the day the grower bears the losses resulting from a poor deal,” he said.

Export volume estimates for 2015

Chadwick also reported that the forecast is for this year’s packed for export volume to be 113.1 million 15kg cartons, down 2.2% on last year.

  • Oranges: valencia down 3.5% to 49.1 million cartons; navels down 3.5% to 25.1 million cartons. These decreases mainly due to hail in Senwes and Western Cape growing regions
  • Lemons: up 2.9% to 13.6 million
  • Grapefruit: down 2% to 15.3 million cartons. Exporters have said this estimate could be revised further downward as the season unfolds and quality specifications become clearer
  • Soft citrus exports: steady at 10 million cartons
  • Satsuma: to increase 2% to 1.8 million cartons
  • Mandarins: to rise 4% to 5.3 million cartons
  • Clementines: down 5%

Read the newsletter here.



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African Fruit and Vegetable Exports Safe From Ebola, Experts Say


Fruit and vegetables from Africa will not spread Ebola virus

Imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from Africa are safe and can not spread the Ebola virus, the Bernhard-Nocht-Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) has advised in response to queries by German fruit trade association DFHV.

DFHV raised the question in response to concerns from clients of member companies about whether fruit from Africa could be a source of Ebola infection. BNITM is a World Health Organization (WHO) collaborating centre.

The ebola virus is not easily transmitted from person to person, like a cold or flu. Like the HIV virus, it requires direct contact with infectious body fluids.

Source: BNITM
Pic: ( (ID #1836))